Saturday, December 12, 2015

Loss of Identity in Marriage

A common theme among some ‘spherians this week is loss of identity in marriage, specifically wives, who allegedly should loose theirs in the name of elevating the status of their husbands and being godly women

Allow me to plainly state, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. In this tangled mess of vines, roots, trees, and who is the bigger stick, blech. Which than begs the question, why do I read this dross and try to understand? I suppose because I am curious about why the world is rejecting both marriage and Jesus Christ Himself, and also recoiling in horror, rejecting the very idea of men leading in anything, at anytime.

Somebody smart gave me a piece of armor to use when wading through this muck, keep your eyes on Christ, and look to your own husband as an example of the sweetness to be found in marriage, in the character of men, in love the way God designed it. Ahh, both of those concepts soften my well armed heart…..

Anyway, loss of identity in marriage can be a real challenge, for both men and women, and no it is nothing to dismiss, demean, or ignore. It happens sometimes for a season, sometimes in the midst of raising children and life’s chaos, you become somebody’s mother, somebody’s wife, until you are really no longer a person in your own right. Hubby and I frequently refer to each other as “mom” or “dad” and honest to goodness it is because I have gone and forgotten the poor man’s name. He is really no better, a few times he has told the children did you ask “that woman?” What woman? The one that lives here, the one you call mom. What the heck is her name again??

I am very blessed because my husband has always had some awareness of the danger that can come from completely losing yourself, your sense of identity and personhood. Who you are outside the definition of wife, mother, sister, daughter. We are not our work, we are not our families, we are actually people in our own right. People with needs of our own.

Marriage, one flesh is not actually about being absorbed, grafted in, erased, it is about becoming a better version of yourself. It is about being the kind of person that attracted your spouse to you in the first place, and then amplifying and improving on that. It is about coming together, the two parts becoming greater as a whole. Symbiosis. Marriage lifts us up, it elevates us, it does not erase us.

This is similar to the way Christ takes the essence of who we are and makes us better, calls us to our higher selves, fixes what is broken. The fragrance of who we are, the essence of our being is not erased in the process, although some of us may hardly recognize ourselves when He is finished.

Jack Nicholson has a great quote in a movie where he says, “so many men complain about how their wives are dead inside, cold, how they’ve changed….and they’re the ones that killed her!”

Oh such harsh words, but words of wisdom indeed. It is in the nature of women to start to take on the identity of our families, our husbands,  our children, and to risk losing ourselves in the process.
I sometimes think of Eve, she seems to have forgotten who she was, the daughter of a most high God, having an identity in Him, a lapse which made her really vulnerable to, did God really say that? In essence Eve is so busy feeding her husband, gathering fruit, and talking to serpents, she is ripe for the plucking. You have no identity Eve, let me give you one, hisses the serpent.

As I’ve said, I’ve been so very blessed. Hubby has always known that someday the kids will grow up and move on and it will be just him and I. There must be enough “him” and “I” left over to keep that attraction going.  That sweet fragrance of who we are, the essence that entwined us must be preserved, because that is what draws us towards one another.

It is so vitally important that men, rather than tamping down and squashing their wives, lift their own selves up higher and encourage her to do the same. Leadership is a launching pad, not a lid.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Psychologically Soft??

While lounging around on my fainting sofa this afternoon, alternating between doses of smelling salts and laudanum, imagine my surprise when I was rather rudely interrupted by a blog post that suggests, “Girls are Psychologically Soft.”

You don’t say??? Also, peel me a grape will you, and hand me the chocolate bon bons?

Obviously this is a matter that requires some serious thought, as I am somewhat torn between a desire to promote that very beneficial idea of how women are possessed by psychological softness, versus a faint twinge of guilt that seems to suggest it is my duty to rid the world of all its foolish deceptions. Every last one.

Alas, a rabbit hole has appeared here on Easy Street, one that has left me contemplating the nature of Steel Magnolias versus what should perhaps be called “Iron Poppies.” To tell you the truth, I rather favor the humble nasturtium that springs forth from the cracks in a baked California freeway or in my darker moments…. the parasitic nature of an orchid feasting off a rotted log.

Oh, speak to me of fragile flowers wilting in the sunlight…

If I thought for one moment that girls being smaller, weaker, and psychologically softer, would somehow translate into the idea that life (and men) should show us even greater kindness and charity, you have no idea how often I would play the girl-card. Sadly, it is seldom true however. Something always seems to get lost in translation. In some odd quirk of human nature, “small, soft and weak” tends to just register as, “oh look, perfectly legitimate and morally acceptable…….prey.”

Don’t ask me to explain it, human behavior just is what it is, and as this blogger so clearly implied, “girls are psychologically soft,” therefore…..feel free to exploit the crap out of them. He’s a charming specimen, let me tell you, as in some people have a screw loose, but this one done lost two bolts and Teh Stupid has come spilling out.

I am torn between a desire to mercifully try to scoop it up before anyone sees it….and the urge to look away politely, like one might do when someone’s zipper is down. You may not be embarrassed. I however, am embarrassed for you.

In my most gracious and charitable state however, I realize that there may be two different worlds going on here, that perhaps my hysterical cackling over the very suggestion of psychologically mushy females has something to do with the fact that that is just so not my world. My fainting couch and laudanum are not real, nor has it ever been real for anyone in my family. We are far more likely to have been slopping for the lady of the house….or for the pigs.

Somewhere in the midst of dying in childbirth, child sexual abuse, dead babies, heroin addictions, run away men, and indentured servitude, the women in my family all seem to have gotten their “psychologically soft card” revoked, not unlike our credit cards often are today.

I used to think this was a bad thing, that I somehow got dealt the short end of the stick. I don’t anymore, it turns out this was the very inoculation we all needed and not unlike a vaccine, it seems to have steered off that terrible contagion called, Teh Stupid.

Only one suffering from a terminal case of Teh Stupid would be so unobservant as to even suggest that girls are psychologically soft, although if you should wish to hold that view for the purposes of treating us with extra gentleness and charity, that would be most lovely.

If not, at least make yourself useful, pass the bon bons and peel me a grape.


Lord, I lift them up in prayer...

Lord, I lift them up in prayer and beg you to show them the same mercy and forgiveness that you have shown me. Those men whose hearts are hard, who wallow in hatred and unforgiveness, who may drive people away from Christ with harsh words and misunderstood scripture.

Lord, I fear for those who misuse your Word and pray you wrap them in your steadfast patience and mercy. Forgive them Father, some know not what they do.

I do not wish to shame or silence these men with my prayers, Lord, instead I pray their eyes to be opened and the love of Christ to fill their hearts. I pray their wounds to be healed, their broken hearts repaired, and their sins forgiven.

I pray for them to be freed of their bondages, their eyes cleared of deceptions, and for them to come to know you as I know you, as a loving and merciful God, both gentle and strong. I pray for healing of those broken and fractured relationships with fathers, the wounding often done to them by mothers, and that in that healing work you do so well, they come to see themselves as you intended them to be, as sons of a most high God, having such worth and value in His sight, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I pray for those still wounded by divorce, walled off and bitter. I pray for their freedom from condemnation because in Christ there is no condemnation, and I lay their shame at the foot of the cross where it belongs, where so long ago you suffered and died for us, despising the shame on our behalf.

I pray you lead them to forgive themselves and to help them see the wisdom in your words when you taught us, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. Help them to understand that forgiveness and love walk hand in hand.

I pray for the Lost Boys Lord, the red pills, those with broken hearts, those filled with fear and pride, and those who do not yet know You.

I pray too, for those men walking in the spirit already, the men who speak your word with such grace and honor, gird them and arm them Lord, and light the path before them. They are the salt of the world, lighthouses in the midst of darkness that keep us all from wrecking our ships upon the rocks. Thank you for their words Lord, for their good humor, and for their strength. Empower them Lord, guide them and lead them in the way you would have them go and watch over them. Bless them with your presence and help them to walk with confidence, trusting fully in you.

I give thanks for all these men Lord, the broken and the whole, the hurting and the rejoicing. I am grateful for what the wounded have taught me and I know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I ask for your blessing upon all these men Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Ahh, the authoritarians...

For those who lament the lack of church discipline, the rebellion of wives, the authoritarians who say such unkind things to me sometimes, those who blame women for all the ills of the world, those who try to create Christ in their own image, harsh, judgmental, controlling, ready to pounce and punish us all…

I wonder however, how do you not see the tangled nature of it all, the symbiosis at play? Feminism and militant atheism for example, not something that just sprung up out of a vacuum, but an emotional response to what was often unjust church discipline. The way all those beautiful scriptures about marriage and submission, were perverted and used against women to justify abuse. All those who preached chastity from the pulpit on Sunday morning…. and yet raped our children. Those who continue to this day to shriek about whores and Jezebels and rebellion….but cannot even see their own.

We did not listen to the least of these, which means we did not listen to Him.

Oh, and speak to me of the prosperity ministers on TV with their private jets, those flying the rainbow flag high above the cross, and those who have edited Christ out of the church entirely, least He cause offense.

Or those who preach racism and hatred and pervert my beautiful scriptures..

I don’t know how you fix it all, but I watch us swing from one extreme to another, the love of Christ all but forgotten in many quarters, until I am uncertain I even want to be standing near a church when He returns.

I fear very little these days, but that I do fear, standing too close to those who do not know the love of Christ, those who misappropriate scripture. That fear does not surprise me but what does surprise me is the vast unchurched church that seems to share my fears, those believers who claim nature is their church, those stunning views more comforting cathedrals than a little building with people in it. Christ’s people. They fear standing too close to Christ’s people! I wish that truth weighed heavier on our hearts.
I think too much, I care too much, I analyze these things like a scientist, always wanting to collect the data so we can get about the business of fixing a broken world. Last week someone led a prayer for wisdom and I laughed wryly, oh be careful what you pray for, ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find…..but you won’t always like it! Wisdom is a heavy burden to bear indeed, because the knowing is not the same as the doing. There is a special kind of torment in seeing and understanding….and yet still being powerless to do anything at all except standby and watch helplessly. They didn’t call Jeremiah the Weeping Prophet for nothing.

These days I don’t pray for wisdom, I pray for the bliss of ignorance, for the freedom to enjoy the simple things, and in His kindness He often grants me exactly that, moments of rest for my soul.

And yet eventually He always calls me back, that still quiet voice whispering urgently, Listen to Me…..Make them Listen to Me…

I do not know how to speak to deaf ears, how to show eyes that cannot see, how to speak to a world that will not listen, and time marches on without mercy, closing in on us all. Time is of the essence, there is an urgency here, a deadline that will not be met.

These are the things that weigh heavy on my soul as we enter into all hallows eve, the high holiday of the dark things, all twisted up in frivolity and light heartedness, that odd merging of sexuality, death, and violence that is so often seductive, the sexy vampires and dolled up zombies, and the more serious gathering of witches, wiccans, and outright satanists right here in the 9th circuit of hell.

I am such a wet blanket these days, what should be a parade of silly of zombies is actually everyday life with meth and heroin addicts, the sores, the wasting away, the falling out teeth. I pass zombies on the street everyday and take little joy in them. And the vampires, the emotional and spiritual ones, as well as those who do drink blood, they are repulsive, not endearing.

All in good humor however, there is a half constructed dead body in my living room, yet another uncompleted project abandoned by my child. Surely my daughter, I taught you better than this! One simply does not leave their dead bodies laying about the house where others may trip over them….
Listen to Me, He whispers, lighten up and do not let the melancholy roll in like the gloomy drizzle and overcast. Do not despair, I got this thing. He does you know. He’s got this thing. All that is required of me is to be a sweet and pleasing fragrance unto Him, that soft whisper that reminds one of lily of the valley.

Those who insist on trying to perceive me as the enemy, don’t even understand the nature of the war.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Speak to Me of Debates and Elections

Somebody asked me how I planned to vote. Being one who totally believes in free and fair elections where the best candidate wins, I am clearly planning to vote however the Bilderbergers tell me to vote, something they will obviously program me to do through the little alien implant in my head. Trust me, I’m very compliant. The last thing I want to do is go back the Bohemian Grove.

On the other hand it’s probably more cost-effective to just gaslight me through TV, social media, pharmaceuticals, and assorted brainwashing tactics. A bit like Pavlov’s dog, I will salivate according to my conditioning and enthusiastically seek the feelz-good. I just wish our alien lizard overlords would learn more rewards, less punishments. It’s a far more effective tactic. Just pet me…..or send me 500 bucks. Those who will not be beholden to special interests, speak for yourselves. Personally, I could really use the cash.

Allow me to give a special shout out to Donald Trump here, his rhetorical trickery and mastery of the biological bliss hits, is pretty impressive. Also something I predicted would happen a few years back. People are starved for justice, for the opportunity to kick a little behind. As much as we dislike bullies, we all want to be one. Or at least standing behind one. Trump’s play on male and female psychology is phenomenal. No wonder he is so rich.  I don’t particularly like him, but I have been compelled to laugh out loud a few times when I caught him playing off people’s biology. Very slick. Very effective. Men especially, are going to be mesmerized. They like bad boys, too.

It’s not just Diebold that delivers…

I did not watch the debates, although I over heard parts of it and eavesdropped on several discussions. If I were given a choice in this election, I would lean towards Ben Carson. Inspire, revive, restore, just beautiful. My jaded eyes don’t believe he stands a chance, however. On the other hand, this time last year I was somewhat convinced we wouldn’t even make it to the next election, so I have been known to be wrong.  Of course, we aren’t there yet….

Were I live in Liberal Utopia, Bernie Sanders is all the rage. He very cleverly plays to those who believe only they are smart, caring, and compassionate enough to know what’s best for all people. Also, they are engaged in a war against the establishment, against the man, against, against…..well, they are all rebels without a clue. Occupy Something…..we are the 99%! What do we want?? We don’t know, but we want it NOW.

I had an interesting almost-conversation with a bernie-dine who informed me that people who were calling Bernie a socialist were all just racists. I tried to say, “I think he really is a socialist and a white guy too, isn’t he?” He just shook his head in disgust and said, “This is what we’re up against, people trying to call him a Nazi.”

I just smiled politely. It’s nearly impossible to talk to people who’s alien implant is obviously shorting out. Somebody should call the Bilderbergers and report a defective unit.

Actually, if anybody knows the Men in Black, would you send them my way?  I could really use a few zaps from that blinky thing about now.
men in black

Sex Robots, Planned Obsolescence, and Harsh Truths

The usual suspects have spent the past week quite enamored with the idea of sex robots, and blogged about it most favorably. Tomassi has written about the “Planned Obsolescence” of women. What can I say, it’s a Brave New World and Stepford Wives R Us.

It’s somewhat amusing that none of these intellectual powerhouses have considered the fact that sex robots, rather than replacing women, could actually serve to replace men. Pride has a way of rendering one unable to see the forest for all the trees. Or perhaps they view their sex robots as some kind of consolation prize for the way men have been slowly written out of the biological equation, as we rapidly work to replace men and marriage with the protection and provision of the State.

I have a rather dark and cynical take on all this, almost bittersweet in its painful awareness of the truth. I don’t fear the obsolescence of women, obsolescence has been our state of being since the dawn of time. Girls are born into the world struggling for relevance, a world dominated by men. Heck, girls are born into the world struggling just to survive. Some of us don’t even make it to being born, sex selection tends to heavily favor males.

Tomassi says, Women tend to conflate their personal, intrinsic value with their sexual market value.” Women do no such thing, men do that to us, men, and women who are the keepers of culture, those mothers who enforce female genital mutilation and Chinese foot binding, practices all through history designed to increase the sexual market value of girls.

Ask those 8 yr old girls turning tricks for American tourists in Thailand about their intrinsic worth and value as women. Ask a rape victim. Ask a child sexual abuse survivor about her intrinsic worth and value in the world of men. Ask all those club girls and dancers, prostitutes and trafficked kids. Heck, watch a catty young girl try to disqualify and discredit another woman. 99% of the time it’s going to involve demeaning her sexual worth and value.

The average age a girl learns what her intrinsic worth and value really is? 12 yrs old. By the time she is 12 yrs old she will have already learned every derogatory term designed to sexually shame women and remind us where our worth and value truly lies. She doesn’t need all those shaming words however, a few years of TV advertising has already taught her that women are nothing more than sexual commodities designed to sell products.

Miley Cyrus didn’t ride a wrecking ball and dance half-naked with teddy bears because people value her for her musical ability. In fact, a woman who can find popularity within the culture based on her musical abilities rather than her willingness  to parade across the stage half-naked, is a rare woman indeed.

Obsolescenceis the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order.”

Girls are born into the world struggling for relevance, fighting obsolescence, using every skill we have to avoid being perceived as nothing more than an object, a service, a practice, a commodity. Why is it so critical that we seek the favor of men, attempt to convince them we are full human beings, rather than flat two-dimensional sex objects? Because an object can be perceived as having no human worth and value, just a bit of collateral damage one needn’t feel any moral compunction about using and simply throwing away. Or leaving somewhere in a shallow grave….

Where do women learn what their personal, intrinsic value is really all about? From men! Women conflate nothing, women learn to perceive ourselves the way others have perceived us. Symbiosis. Karma, perfect justice. Who teaches us to perceive men as the enemy and to avail ourselves of whatever weapons we can use to defend ourselves?

Not all men are like this however, there are many fathers, husbands, brothers, who perceive girls and women as actual human beings, half the human race having intrinsic worth and value that goes way beyond our sexuality. I am blessed to have been surrounded by these kinds of men for so long, that I’ve nearly forgotten that the other kind even exists.

Orcs, I call them orcs. I do not fear the takeover of the sex robots, I embrace it. Any man like Dalrock who attempts to debate the moral hazards of exploiting a sex robot, a moral conundrum he has never even bothered to ask when it comes to an actual living, breathing, feeling woman, simply does not belong in the world of human relationships.

To achieve obsolescence in the eyes of such men would be a blessing for women and girls indeed. Bring on the robots.

Monday, August 24, 2015

"Ownership of the Christian Message?"

Barry has been engaged in an interesting discussion called Ownership of the Christian Message in which all the various forms of Christianity are being looked at. Which then begs the question, how do you cope with all these different views and how do you know which one’s are true?

I’ll tell you how I cope, I tend to descend into complete hysterics and start shrieking about moral ambiguity while tossing teacups at people’s heads. I only partially jest here, a world without any rules at all where anything goes is a bit like free-falling through the universe and sure to evoke complete panic in someone already as melodramatic as I am.

Keep in mind that I am not talking about slight variations in doctrine, like the way some  believe the Lord’s prayer says “forgive us our sins” while others believe it is “forgive us our trespasses” and still others believe it says “forgive us our debts.” These are trivial things in a world run by insane clowns, let me tell you. No I’m speaking of things like the atheist church or those who don’t believe in the Divinity of Christ or those who have removed Christ from the picture entirely. I call these people “-ians.”

Barry mentions some “clergy who have taught that belief in the Resurrection, Christ’s divinity, and God as a being, are not essential to the Christian faith.” Yes, this is a real thing in the world, although somewhat rare because that is so contrary to the entire foundation of faith. From Catholic to protestant, through all denominations, there is one thing that unites us all and that is the Divinity of 

Christ, His resurrection, and our own salvation through Him. That is the basic fundamental message. Take that away and no, you cannot be a Christ-ian. Look at the word there.  Now some may well call themselves disciples, followers, prophets, or saints, but we’ve all got the Divinity of Christ in our minds and hearts.

Everything from that point forward becomes a matter of belief, study, opinion, the language you speak. You do not really have to believe in creationism or the end times or hell or even in the trinity. This is all just background noise, feedback from the speakers, or perhaps the spices and flavors we add to our food. It is not the bread itself. Accepting the Divinity of Christ and surrendering to your need for redemption, is often called justification. Sanctification is a word sometimes used to describe the process of allowing Him to do His work within you. Faith is a process, we are all works in progress.

Outside the context of faith and theology, and into the realm of emotion and psychology, there is this thing called spiritual abuse. There are people in the world who call themselves Christians, who abuse children, who condemn, ostracize, and bully others, and they do it under the guise of faith. Good grief, this is an appalling thing that will truly mess with your head. I have a powerful faith, I am not a child, and it still messes with my head. This is an issue that truly pushes my buttons. It is wrong to abuse others, but to attempt to separate and alienate them from their Creator just takes it to a whole new level. The harm that can be done there is just astronomical. These days it seems as if many people coming to faith actually have to first unlearn things, rather than to learn things. That is not so easy.

I’m reminded that scripture addresses this issue in a myriad of ways, from clearly stating that those who lead others will be held twice as accountable, to making it quite clear that “whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” There are wolves in sheep’s clothing and false teachings. In the bible Christ Himself spends a great deal of time addressing the religious leaders of the day, the pharisees. In the final chapter of the bible, Christ does not have a bone to pick with prostitutes, addicts, and atheists, He has a bone to pick with churches. It is not the lost who are accountable for Christ’s word, but rather the found.

So in answer to ownership of the Christian message, it belongs to those of us who claim Him name. Now needless to say Christians cannot control the actions or behaviors of everyone, but if we are talking in a moral and spiritual sense, I believe we are all called to get the word out and to properly represent the faith, to heal some of those spiritual fractures, and to speak up when we see something wrong. Once again, it is not the lost who are accountable for Christ’s word, but rather the found.

Spiritual abuse however, is not doctrine, it is not faith, and it is not the church. The personal is not political. One’s experiences and suffering at the hands of others does not define all of Christianity. Christ is to be our representative, not some lost or abusive soul professing His name.

So how do you discern, how do you know what is Truth? You go straight to the Source, you ask Christ into your heart and you invite Him to teach you. You humble yourself and you allow Him to speak to you in a language you understand. You pray, you read the bible, you allow the Holy Spirit to fill you and teach you and guide you. You avail yourself of bible studies and other believers, of church, always remembering who is at the top of your relationship, whose favor your seek. Christ should always be first.

This entire discussion, all the confusion over what to believe, the uncertainty over who owns the Christian message, all stems from putting people in Christ’s place, from not recognizing who the Source of our faith really is, from transferring authority from Christ over to a group of believers or a denomination….or over to people who abused you while professing His name.

It is both simple and complex, but if you truly wish to discover the Truth, you let go of all that you think you know, you surrender yourself to Christ, and you allow Him to light your path. It is a leap of faith, but you can trust that He will show you the way and order your steps.

Will you ever be asked to change how you perceive something or what you believe in? Most likely. Will He ever lead you astray? Nope, not ever, not if it is Christ who leads you.

Dalrock, Just Saying...

“It would be difficult to find a woman with a harder heart than Susan Smith.  She is absolutely shameless.  Yet note how consumed she is with the knowledge that people on the outside see her as a monster.  Never be fooled by the shrieks that your judgment doesn’t affect a rebellious woman.”

You may well be that “woman” with a harder heart Dalrock, you and the so called Christians who follow you. Rather than attempting to understand the Susan Smith case, rather than applying some mercy, you just exploit the tragedy and use it as an example of the evil nature of women. Your comment section is filled with hateful words condemning her to hell, wanting to see her executed, reveling in your perceived  moral superiority, and dehumanizing women in general.

I have no idea what to say to men who believe the only way to elevate their own moral character is to attempt to compare themselves to Susan Smith, but it makes me feel a bit sick.

For those who don’t remember Susan Smith, she murdered her children and is now spending 30 years in prison. She was mentally ill, her brain broke, and she collapsed. No one knows why she did it, it was just one of those evil acts that defy explanation.

What is seldom talked about however, is the fact that her father committed suicide when she was six years old and her step father molested her all through her teens, a relationship that continued well into adulthood. At 13 she tried to kill herself. By the time she finished high school there had been 3 more suicide attempts. She went on to marry David when she was 19 years old and had his two sons, but that relationship was rocky, full of infidelity, and he frequently abandoned her with the two children.

Susan Smith was a mentally ill 21 year old girl with a father who committed suicide, a stepfather who molested her, and a husband who cheated on her, abandoned with two small children. She broke. Women do that sometimes, we break, especially when all the men in our lives fail us, yes fail us Dalrock. Women do not just spontaneously combust.

***Dalrock has responded to this post, by the way, and accuses me of identifying with an unrepetant child murderer and running the rationalization race on her behalf.

He is absolutely correct too, because I truly believe that as Christians we are called to try to empathize with each other and to understand human behavior. I too would prefer to just sit in judgment of those who do evil and point my finger at them self righteously and yet Grace will not allow it. Luke 7:47, the woman with the perfume, Wherefore I say unto thee, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. My own grace requires me to extend the same to others.

I’ve said it a million times, but come judgment day I’d rather be caught standing next to a harlot or an unrepentent child murderer than a self righteous Christian with a hard heart.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Seduction is a fine subject for a hot and steamy August. It is an interesting word, one that has rather pleasant connotations on the surface. It simply means to enchant, charm, entice, and to lead. When you trace the origins of that word back far enough however, you soon encounter some other root words, like treason, treachery, and deceit.

Today the modern definition has combined the two concepts so to lead has come to mean, to lead astray. To seduce has come to mean to charm someone down the wrong path. It carries the implication of deceit and manipulation with heavy sexual over tones. Culture, mores, history, and human sexuality, have all played a role in giving us our modern definition.

In the days of old, women as a group were not perceived as the primary seducers, as a temptress full of wiles and deceit sure to lead men astray. Ironically that is a more modern concept. Traditionally only men were perceived as being capable of seduction, while women were all pretty much thought innocent and naive, under the protection of fathers or family until marriage. Men often dreamed about Sirens luring men to their doom or mermaids enticing sailors into the deep, but these things were not the way of the world. They were a way for men to try to relieve themselves of a burden, of moral and sexual agency, of the responsibility they were forced to carry for both themselves and for women. This was serious business, men were sometimes killed for having “seduced” the wrong woman.

Somewhere along the path of  history, men managed to off load this burden of personal sexual agency, by transferring the load over to women. Women became the seducers, sure to trick and deceive men, who surely could not be blamed or held accountable for having sexually succumbed to feminine wiles. Christianity and culture did manage to affirm this idea in people’s heads. Eve herself was transformed into a temptress who seduced Adam into eating the forbidden fruit, rather than a victim of Satan’s deception. This contradictory archetype of Eve as both innocent and naive enough to have been deceived by Satan and yet also seductive, clever, and manipulative enough to have seduced Adam, still persists today in some circles.

Like many things within our culture what it all boils down to is a dispute over sexual agency and responsibility and who holds it, men or women. It has to do with attempting to avoid accountability and to pass the buck back and forth. You see evidence of this sexual confusion, these contradictory archetypes, in the modern world. Women are encouraged to empower themselves sexually and yet women are also being perceived as having so little personal sexual agency, there are consent laws on college campuses where men are now being burdened with having to prove not only that they themselves consented, but that she did too. Women no longer have to prove rape, men now have to prove consent.

We can forget equality here, these are very gender specific ideas. Recently I saw a poster where a couple of college kids were going drinking with the warning for the guy, “remember, if she has been drinking she cannot give consent and you could be charged with rape.” They are both drinking! His drinking however, does not relieve him of owning full sexual accountability for both of them to the point of criminality. Her drinking simply relieves her of any sexual agency or accountability. She is now deemed incompetent due to alcohol, while he is deemed extra competent due to alcohol. He has once again returned to his archetype as the male seducer and she his helpless victim. Predators and prey.

Conversely on the other side of the aisle, you will find attempts to hand all the sexual agency back over to women, to portray her as the seductress once again, as if all sexuality is entirely her fault because of what she was wearing, where she was hanging out, how she looked, as if men are simply helpless victims of women and easily led astray.

This is always what is at the heart of sexual politics, a gender competition over sexual agency and which gender owns the blame. The blame/shame game. Sexual matters can carry heavy shame that people rarely wish to be held accountable for, men or women. When we plan to blame the other person, we often must first dehumanize them, demonize them, so they become an appropriate receptacle for our own shame. It’s interesting to me, in our so-called open-minded culture where anything goes, sexual shame does not appear to be diminishing, but rather increasing.

Personally I’ve never been too interested in such silly games, but this is a serious thing in the world and now shapes much of our modern politics. As far as I am concerned in the year 2015, men and women both have total sexual agency and full responsibility for their own actions. I realize that  biology is a bit different between men and women, that men are often far more captivated by the physical, more visual, but just the same, when it comes to simple sexual attraction, both genders have full agency. Nobody falls victim to another’s charms and simply loses their mind and moral agency.

Seduction in the context of sexuality seems almost innocent to me for that very reason, we are not truly vulnerable to manipulation and deceit based only on physical attraction. We may wish to try to claim that is true, but it is not. Seduction in a purely sexual and physical way really means nothing more than to enchant, charm, entice, and to lead. Whether one allows themselves to be led or not is entirely one’s responsibility.

There is another edge to seduction that concerns me far more than seduction in a sexual context however, and that is when we enter into the realm of the psychological and emotional, of brainwashing and mind control, for the purposes of deceit and manipulation. This concerns me because these are the kinds of things people are truly vulnerable to because they slip in under the radar, leaving us unaware of what is happening and completely lacking personal agency. What we cannot see and reason our way through, we are powerless to resist. Advertisers do this, they play on our emotions, they push those biological triggers and before we know it we’ve been seduced into buying some product we didn’t even know we really wanted.

Anybody who doubts the power of seduction for the purposes of cultural manipulation should consider that less than a hundred years ago, humankind didn’t even have toothpaste or much interest in oral hygiene at all, and yet today to do without is unthinkable. Not that toothpaste was a bad idea, but it does speak to how easily seduction and manipulation can completely alter human behavior.

We see seduction being used today in politics, in education, in cultural mores. I watch these little tricks being used to manipulate people, to direct human behavior. One trick you often see being used is to gin up controversy. Dirty laundry sells and it is an unfortunate fact of human nature, but we’ll all look towards the train wreck to see what all the fuss is all about and shortly thereafter, start taking sides, drawing our tribal alliances. Something else people are vulnerable to are those we perceive as victims in need of our protection. Everybody wants to rescue a victim, to be perceived as a champion for the down trodden.

Sometimes it seems as if the media is just one endless loop of seduction after another. That’s what they do, that’s how they gain viewers. These tools of seduction are marketing ploys often used in political campaigns, in cults, advertising, the media, to sell books or products, and in education.
I really wish we could get over the sexual politics, the constant gender competition over seduction and perceived sexual agency, because we as a people have far bigger fish to fry. It is not so much men and women seducing and leading each other astray that is the problem, but rather the world stepping up its game for the purpose of manipulation and deceit, to lead us all astray.

The dangers of that should be obvious, if we are all being seduced, manipulated, and deceived, at that point, can any of us truly claim to have any moral agency of our own?

Monday, July 27, 2015

No, just no

How The Manosphere Is Filling A Void Left By Feminized Modern Churches

Don’t read the above article, I’m compelled to link simply out of common courtesy. I cannot really give a proper wail over the stupidity of it all if I do not at least reference what I am talking about.

No, just no, the manosphere does not “fill a void left behind by the feminized church”, or perhaps it does in the same way that drugs, alcohol, money and unlimited sex might fill a void, a God sized hole in people’s spirits that can only be satisfied with a God sized relationship.

Why does the manosphere not serve as a good substitute? Well, there is the unbelievable hatred and bitterness expressed by many, the unrelenting hostility towards women, the bad theology, the cult like behavior, the attempts to replace inconvenient Christian values with ideology and clever catch phrases like hypergamy and AWALT, there is the pride, the arrogance, the evolutionary psych theories, the bad psychology, the relentless talk of sexual conquest….

By their fruits you shall know them, that is why! Your fruits are flat out rotten, people. You drive more people away from Christianity then your animal baptizing rainbow flag flying believers do.

All in good humor here, but anybody ever hear And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone….. It is so not good! Like, hello people! Maybe God did not design an exclusively male world run something like the Lord of the Flies?

I do not mean to be so critical, to paint everyone with the same brush, there are a few good manopsherians that actually take their theology very seriously, that actually do recognize what Christ taught, but oh there are others, others who use scripture to promote false things, to justify assorted sins, to promote male dominance in all things, to present women as only partially human and it doesn’t stop there, there are so called Christian manospherians that double down on the racial hatred as well. You have Vox Day actually calling himself the voice of God and his dread ilk with their so called Social Justice Campaign, and Dalrock who deletes all dissent, while promoting this idea that all women are spawns of satan.

It is not church people. It is so not Christ either. It is validation and justification for every feminist ideal ever dreamed up, no matter how harebrained and foolish.

The ostracizing, the bullying, the doxing, the harassment, the threats, I know, I know, it is the internet, we cannot control what everyone does and says, but those are the fruits of such foolishness and I have seen them. These are real things, ugly things. Just stop it already.

Oh, I could carry on and on bemoaning the perversion of such beautiful theology, the mangling of the very image of Christ himself, the never ending bits of stupidity being presented as so called “sound religious reasoning” in the hearts of such bitter and wounded men.

The author of this bit of nonsense says, I haven’t been to church in 20 years. But I vicariously live through other Christian bloggers…

Yeah, so called Christian bloggers who tell you to stay away from church because it’s been feminized. Bloggers who continuously promote hatred in Christ’s name, bloggers who wouldn’t know the bible if it bit them on the behind.

I really don’t know why I care, why I cannot let it go, why my whole spirit is consumed with despair and fury when I see this sort of thing going on, but it is true. I am driven to speak out against this over and over again.

Honestly, I don’t think the enemy himself could have written a better line than this,
“….because whether you realize it or not, ROK, Tom Leykis, Dalrock, and the hundreds of others sites that have evolved over the past 10 years to reconstitute the wisdom that was lost since the 1960’s, are a perfect, dare I say, superior substitute.  We are the new “church.”

A superior substitute? Oh dear Lord. It is Christ’s church people, there are no substitutes! It has always been Christ’s church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Then he says, “Of course, we are not preaching salvation…”

You don’t say?? Of course not. Christ without salvation, why am I not surprised? We’re going to provide you with everything you might find in faith, in church, in religion, except the ENTIRE HEART OF THE MESSAGE!

Ai yi yi, let me whack my head on my desk a few times.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Lost Art of Being a Lady

First let me confess here, I definitely grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and in some dark places, and never concerned myself too much with decorum. Survival yes, decorum not so much.

Okay, so there was one incident where I may even have chewed tobacco on a dare. It was the most hideous thing ever, but it sure did wipe the smirk off of someone’s face and earn me 20 bucks. The dare was simply that girls couldn’t chew tobacco. I settled that, oh yes we can. Why in the heck we would ever want to is another question entirely, but we can.

We can do a lot of things we probably shouldn’t. Just because we can, doesn’t always mean we should. In fact, doing things just because you can is often a bad idea.

So, I really must declare myself to be a self-professed expert on how to be both a lady and not a lady. Also, I simply have to lament the complete decline of western civilization and rant about the sad state of affairs we now find ourselves in. In our quest to promote the idea that girls can do anything, including completely rejecting anything that girls can do, we have really created a monster. Gone is anything that may be considered soft or feminine or heaven forbid, “pink.” Being a lady is apparently something only “old people” do, or so I have been told. Young girls tend to sneer at the very idea.

Yes, yes I know, “don’t judge me,” but I must because it is bad, very bad, out there in The Big World. Girls seem to have forgotten that being a lady is about who and what you are, how you define your own self, what you draw and attract towards yourself. It is really not about being oppressed at all, but rather about being fully empowered.

This was a fairly simple matter to teach my older children some 30 years ago, but the culture has just declined so rapidly that now such efforts fall on deaf ears, leaving me in complete despair over the state of young womanhood.  Oh, woe is me…I play to a rough crowd, indeed.

How rough, you may ask? Oh boy, so rough that we now think nothing of standing on a street corner having a spitting contest, competing to see who can hock up the most disgusting weaponry possible, while taunting passer-bys. It is enough to make me want to snap a few thongs that are so prominently displayed about six inches outside of our clothing.

Girls apparently do not understand older women and the danger that lurks there, the mental instability that can strike at any moment and send one out on a thong snapping tirade. I kid you not, do not be deceived by the meek and mild appearance, the gentle mannerisms that young girls so foolishly try to dismiss as “weakness” in older women. You delude yourselves indeed, having no idea what lurks beneath that soft veneer….. but I digress.

Alas, today femininity seems to be all about being as loud as possible, cursing vehemently, being outrageous and shocking, reveling in the sheer perversion of it all, and presenting the world with a hard and tough exterior as if to say, “don’t even mess with me.” I empathize deeply with those “don’t tread on me” sentiments, however it is far more powerful to hold them on the inside, to keep them incognito, so when you do strike, nobody sees it coming. To advertise how big and bad you actually perceive yourself to be, is simply foolishness. “Keep them guessing and they’ll never see you coming” is a far better approach and sure to gain you a much-needed advantage.

All those pocket knives and spikes and torn and shredded tights, simply scream “bring it on, I dare you!” But please just ask yourselves, what in the world are you demanding people “bring on” and why??

What The World really needs from you is what it has always needed from you, your soft heart, your gentleness, your capacity to empathize with others and to create beauty where none exists. To reflect and multiply the goodness that is within, to shine your light into the world, to transform what is ugly and unappealing and to create something beautiful. That is what women have done for centuries, the gifts we have brought to the world, a rare and fine resource indeed, one that has known its own worth and value so well, it has never felt the need to try to prove itself.

We may well love men or at least find boys to be curious and enchanting creatures indeed, but that does not mean we must suddenly start imitating the very worst of their behavior! This is not a competition, a race to the bottom, you are unique and special and different. It is that very difference that makes you special! Embrace it, accentuate it, celebrate it. Be proud of who and what you are and the job you have been given to do.

Do not envy boys and men for what they can do, because just like you, what they can do is not always what they should do. There is truly nothing particularly clever or desirable about chewing tobacco or spitting great wads of horror out on a public street. Such things take no special talent, nor are they the trappings of the affluent and so-called privileged. Like, hello, to seek what you perceive men to “have” is to fail to know the nature of your own self or the nature of men, and the saddest thing of all is you must erase all that is good and golden about your own self in the process.

Your softness, your sweet and gentle spirit, is what The World has always needed from you and it is what the world still needs from you. It is not an easy job, it is not a job for the faint of heart, it is by far the most challenging thing you will ever do, but for goodness sakes do it! When we do not step into those shoes, when we fail to rise to the occasion, The World gets thrown out of balance, the ugly things remain ugly, your light does not shine, and the hidden beauty does not get seen.

The World seeks to deceive you, The World has always sought to deceive women, to convince us to snuf out our own light, to deny our own femininity, to exchange it for all kinds of cheap imitations, ranging from a piece of fruit to some bizarre notion of sexual empowerfulness. It is a war, a war I tell you, one we did not chose but one we must fight with everything we’ve got. Failure is not an option.

Ask yourself why such a relentless war exists, why such an enemy persists all through time, and then you will come to know your true worth and value, your vital purpose in the world. That is what you must fight for, that is the enemy you must rebel against, and nothing irks him more then a girl with a sweet and gentle spirit, bound and determined to make some ugly things more beautiful.

Quite simply what “ladies” do is walk in the world with a keen awareness of their own worth and value, no easy task I assure you. It is not bold and arrogant, nor is it  narcissistic and entitled, but rather quietly filled with confidence and grace.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"Our Sister's Keeper"

So, Tomassi of Irrational Male fame has written a post called, Our Sister’s Keeper.  Yikes. Ai yi yi, where to start, with hip waders and goggles I suppose, and a big shovel so we can cut through all the rhetoric, ideology, and hostility, and try to get to the heart of the matter.

Men are their sister’s keeper. We are our brother’s keeper. Whether in the context of faith or simply in the context of biology, it is what it is, total and complete symbiosis between the two genders. We can all attempt to squirm our way out of that truth, but truth it remains. No man is an island and women, well we give birth to men, and the hand that rocks the cradle in many ways, does rule the world.

Tomassi goes on to say, (of Beta game) “Play nice, respect a woman by default, be supportive of her self-image and ambitions to the sacrifice of your own, don’t judge her and do your utmost to identify with the feminine, was the call to action that, deductively, should make a man more attractive to a woman.”

Oh, the sheer horror! Play nice, respect women, be supportive, sacrifice, what a bunch of chumps men are, huh? The next thing you know women will actually demand men get girl cooties on them or something and when that happens you know she has truly harvested your organs and feasted on your very soul.

In the narcissistic, solipsistic soul of the wounded male ego, it never even occurs to them that women are actually also making sacrifices in the equation. Let me tell you, nothing makes you feel like a “beta chump” faster than finding yourself abandoned after the prime of your youth has faded, left behind with a pack of kids to feed because some wanker has decided he needs to go find himself. Naturally the first place he goes seeking himself….. is in another woman.

In fact if you want to get technical about it, hypergamy is actually the male sexual strategy projected onto women, an attempt to both reject the nature of yourselves and to blame women for it, an attempt to excuse and to justify your own dual sexual strategy. Men want security, families, respect, but they do want to sow their wild oats, too. Have modern women learned how to imitate this male biological strategy? Oh yes! Oh yes, and it is the oddest thing to witness, both tragic and funny at the same time. This is why you have college girls hooking up and the morning after saying “Wait, why am I having casual sex with dudes I don’t even like for reasons I can’t even fathom?? Did I even consent to this? Why, there outta be a law! A consent law! I couldn’t possibly have agreed to this kind of stupid, it’s just all wrong.”

It is just “all wrong” and girls are often aware of this on some level, but when you have grown up in a culture where women’s value is  presented as an exclusively sexual one, where you have been taught your empowerfulness as a female revolves entirely around your sexuality, it is very confusing. Combine this with normal hormones and the male sexual strategy which usually involves trying to storm the castle gates, or climbing over them or under them, or convincing you to open the drawbridge in some way, and you have questionable female agency. It’s a bit like demanding a woman stand tall in the face of a battalion of armed men coming over the hill. She is expected to not only know the nature of her own self, but to know the nature of men too, to understand the cultural deceptions going on in our world, and to stand there unarmed, deflecting all those arrows flying in her direction.

You know what the average age a woman is when she is expected to show this kind of emotional maturity and deep understanding of the nature of the world around her? 13 years old. It’s rather astounding, but while boys are still splashing around in mud puddles and sneaking off to look at dirty pictures in  Nat’l Geographic, 13-year-old girls are trying to navigate the world of so-called sexual agency. They have already encountered those words “slut” and “prude”, “bitch” and “whore.” They have to just learn to pick their poison too, because I assure you which ever persona they chose, it will be the wrong one.

Alas, women are not Batman either, and what you often wind up with is a dead soldier, a bit of collateral damage, full of sexual confusion, trying to make sense of what’s left of the the world around her.

“I’ve always found it fascinating because for all my dealing in cold harsh observable facts I’ve never paused to consider that women might have some excusable reason for their ethically challenged behavior..”

With all due respect, that usually is the position men take when they cannot face the truth of their own “ethically challenged behavior.” Do you know that I have spent years researching men’s ethically challenged behavior? Why? Empathy. A desire to understand why some insist on destroying themselves. To understand the nature of male/female relationships. To try and grasp the nature of the world around me. Can you even imagine trying to do that without ever bothering to understand and empathize with the other gender’s “ethical challenges?” Half the human race?? That’s so narcissistic it’s enough to make me laugh.

He continues, “In my own estimate Hypergamy isn’t inherently bad or good – it just depends on whether you find yourself on the sharp end of it….”

Complete moral relativism, rather astounding actually. See, I don’t believe hypergamy rules women at all, but suppose I did? In that case, what kind of a sociopath would simply say, “whatever, just as long as I don’t end upon the sharp end of your stick, it’s all good?”

“The problem I see in assigning the blame of women’s behavior to men’s lack of control is that, presently, men have no real control nor does men’s concept of justice align with that of women…”

Ah, and now we get to the heart of the matter, the blame and shame game. Men whether they want it or not, have a very protective nature towards women. Their sense of self-worth really is motivated by a desire for respect from women, respect that often comes from having a sense of honor. What really knocks men off base? Shame. Men have a fascinating and profound relationship with shame. You can hear it hinted at in Tomassi’s words, we have no control, it’s not fair, we can’t possibly be to blame… You can hear it all those derogatory remarks about women frequently found in Tomassi’s comment section, those attempts to make her smaller, more devious, more evil than you perceive yourselves to be. That is how we dehumanize an enemy, how we detach in order to try to justify our own behavior towards them. That is what men do when they are feeling weak and powerless, burdened with all of the responsibility and yet none of the authority or control. Full of shame about what is going on in the world but completely unable to do anything about it.

“On a final note here, whenever I delve into the ethical implications of Red Pill awareness I invariably run into the personal responsibility equation. I do my best to make as coldly rational an observation of dynamics I see and allow my readers to make their own judgements. However, those observation are never intended to excuse the behaviors men and women find themselves prone to acting out.”

Well, that’s something at least. Some kind of awareness that perhaps some people may subjectively receive your words and take them as permission, as justification and validation for what I sometimes refer to as wankerhood, no gender designation intended. All in good humor here, but oh, speak to me of the sins of Adam, about how his words just flow like milk and honey, not my fault Lord, not my fault, see this woman you gave me…..

Speak to me of men and their perceived ability to be rational, the great pride they take in allegedly being so coldly clinical, so detached from human emotion, that the first man actually took it upon himself to try to explain the nature of sin to God Himself. Quite sweetly even, so rationally, so logically….and so totally full of coconut candy that he found himself tossed out into the wilderness, too.

Anything, anything at all to try to avoid that awful shame, that sense of responsibility, that deep seated fear that just knows within itself, to whom much is given, much is expected…

Tomassi concludes with,“So are men to blame for the conditions they find their women in? Are we our sisters’ keepers, hamstrung by our own culpability to actually help them be better women? Or do they bear the responsibility to conform to our perspective of justice and police the worst impulses of a Hypergamy most are only peripherally aware of?”

Again, that blame/shame dichotomy I write so much about. What an evident and powerful example of that desire to claim no agency, no responsibility, and yet to reap the rewards, the fruits of having done so. That really is the human condition, something both men and women always struggle with, we tend to want all of the authority, all of the power, all of the control, and yet none of the blame. The buck stops here, what a quaint and outdated idea.

Ironically, the “hypergamy” women are expected to police is not really our own, but actually men’s! Men off running wild with it about the ‘sphere and saying, “meh, not my problem, I ain’t my sister’s keeper.”

Tomassi asks the wrong question because he is trapped in that pride/shame dichotomy, the one devoid of love, the fear based response that first demands to know, just who’s fault this all going to be? Who is to blame?

Like it or not you cannot have it both ways, that is a deception. If you wish to claim your own genuine power and authority, to step fully into those shoes, then you will embrace your own responsibility. The question should not be whether or not women have any personal agency, but whether or not you do. If you chose no, then you will forever be “hamstrung by your own culpability.”

Another name for “hamstrung by your own culpability,” is trapped in your own shame. It needn’t be that way. There is a much  better way of being in the world. Now, I may well have a very romantic and idealistic expectation of men, but that is neither a delusion nor a fantasy, it is based on truth and the example set by so many men who rise to the challenge, who actually perceive themselves precisely as I do.

I am my brother’s keeper, rather shamelessly not “hamstrung by my own culpability.” That is what it means to walk fully in faith and love.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Toxic Masculinity?

"Understanding Toxic Masculinity: Why Defending Men Isn’t Enough"

Interesting article written last year that I rather enjoyed.

“Vast forums host scores of lonely and deranged life drop-outs regularly assembling to rail against The Matriarchy and obsess about sex.”

Yes, yes, we’ve certainly met. Call it a close encounter of the unpleasant kind. The woman who wrote this article refers to them as biter men, I call them the Lost Boys.

I now have a pretty clear understanding of what toxic masculinity is and what it is not. It’s kind of sad, we’re living in a culture that has worked really hard to change gender roles, to redefine the family, to restructure the definition of marriage, and many boys and men are now suffering, completely confused about who and what they are, what their roles are, how they fit into the equation. What it even means to be men anymore.

She says, “This is the essence of “toxic masculinity.” It is emotionally stunted and obsessed with sex and violence. Toxic males seek the thrill of danger and shun responsibility and commitment. Since they lust after women but don’t want to marry or love them, their attitude towards the other sex tends to be offensively objectifying, and can easily turn misogynistic if (as often happens) they experience rejection.”

This is especially sad to me, because misogyny nearly always has it’s roots in self-loathing. It is not really fear of women, it is not really hatred of women, it is deep seated resentment and inability to embrace and love the very nature of your own self. It is generally wrapped in layers and layers of shame and deception.

It’s somewhat amusing, the most common complaint I get is that I don’t empathize with men. It’s amusing because I’ve written dozens of posts paying tribute to fathers, brothers, husbands, marriage, love. I am a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, my entire life is entwined and shaped and formed by relationships with men. Symbiosis. I really cannot pour anymore praise over men than I already do. So, such false accusations are simply foolishness and people’s erratic attempts to confirm their own biases.

She goes on to say, “My experience suggests conservatives are more or less united in seeing healthy masculinity as a positive thing, which we as a society should encourage and foster. That being the case, it should be possible to discuss potentially-toxic strains of masculine culture among ourselves without risk of becoming more generally anti-male.”

Amen. This country really does need to have a discussion on what healthy masculinity is and what it is not. Like many other discussions we need to have as a culture, it is an issue so wrapped in hyperbole and knee jerk emotionalism it is unlikely to ever happen.

If He Truly Loved Us....

A common theme spoken by non believers is that they simply cannot allow themselves to believe in a God of love, if that same God would allow us to condemn ourselves to eternal torment. Yes, I said, “condemn ourselves,” because really we have free will here and can avail ourselves of all the love and salvation that is being offered to us at any time. He doesn’t really condemn us, we condemn our own selves.

The whole idea reminds me a bit of someone who is drowning and there is a lifeboat and we refuse to get in it because “if you truly loved me, you’d pick me up and put me in it, whether I had the good sense to climb aboard or not.”

“If you truly loved me…..” probably a love test women are more likely to be familiar with than men, because sometimes we do like to test those waters.

So how could God possibly standby and watch us condemn ourselves to eternal torment? I don’t know, but sometimes I wonder how naive one must be to not recognize that this is precisely what many of us are called to do, although on a much smaller scale. Ever watch a loved one waste away with drugs and alcohol, completely powerless to do anything about it?

Ever cared for a diabetic who refuses to manage their diabetes, knowing full well exactly what awaits them? Sores that won’t heal, infection, eventual amputations, blindness, organ failure. Or we could probably avoid all that and just change your diet a bit, exercise, regulate your blood sugar. Forgetaboutit, often people prefer to just do things their own way, the hard way. I don’t know why, but I’m not any different.

It’s a bit amusing in its tragedy, but I can’t tell you how many people I have tried to educate, tried to explain that if you are lucky to live long enough, you will begin to slowly decompose from the inside out, doomed to lose toes, a leg, both legs, until eventually you will die. The answer is nearly always, “Shut up lady, and just hand me my snickers bar.” And yet still I persist, love compels me to, to beg, to plead, to flatter, to cajole, to pray, to use every skill I have to offer to win them over, often to no avail.

It’s sad, life is full of enough things that are genuinely out of our hands, things we simply cannot control. It makes no sense to me that we would then bring additional misery down upon ourselves by being so stubborn and yet we do, all the time. Even I do.

If He really loved me…… He would show up in person and prove His existence so I could be free of doubt.

If He really loved me……..He would know who and what I am and take my choices away so I don’t hurt myself.

If He really loved me…….He would end all the suffering in the world so I don’t have feel bad about it.

If He really loved me………He would not expect me to be accountable for my own choices.

It’s somewhat fascinating, authentic love actually requires all four of those things. There must be some doubt, some freewill, some suffering, some accountability. Without those four things, there is not authentic love, but rather a cheap imitation.  Without doubt there can be no gratitude, but only a sense of entitlement. Without free will, it’s not love but rather Stockholm syndrome. Without suffering there will be no empathy. Without accountability and personal responsibility, love becomes nothing more than narcissism, selfishness. We often tend to want love on our own terms by our own definition, but God’s love really is perfect, far more perfect than we often understand.

He created us, placed us in paradise, laid beauty at our feet, breathed life into us. Even when we betrayed Him, he gently clothed us in skins and set us forth to make our way in the world. When we again betrayed Him, he still did not annihilate us all, but made arrangements to salvage what was left of us. Then He came down here, walked in our shoes, empathized with us, experienced what we experience, faced temptation, grieved over what He saw. Then He was betrayed again and He willingly died for us, suffering on our behalf, so we would not have to pay the price, not have to suffer the consequences of our own actions. He died for us. What greater love is there??

And yet some still insist on trying to say, well, if He really loved us…….

The question is all wrong. The question should be, what kind of a moron would reject such clearly proven love and why?? Don’t be offended, compared to God, we’re all morons. If He really loved us……If one cannot see how much He truly does, the error is on our end. Always.


Friday, June 26, 2015

There’s no love for a poor man...

“There’s no love for a poor man,” ahhh, now there’s a Google search term that just broke my heart. It isn’t true, you know, there is lots of love for a poor man, poor in riches, but well off in spirit. I married such a man, on purpose, and it was the best decision I ever made. He has a good heart and soul, comes from a large family, and built himself a business that has always kept food on the table and the lights on. How can I not admire such a man? He’s made something out of nothing. Besides having raised four kids, we’ve taken trips, gone camping, bought a house, had some great fun and good memories.

One of the best things about my job is that I get to work with a lot of widows and widowers and they tell me the most beautiful love stories, the stuff of fairy tales and romance novels, and yet very raw and real. They speak to me of how “he didn’t have two sticks to rub together” not “two nickles to his name” and yet they knew he was the one. They tell me tales about the Great Depression and WW2 and how they started with nothing, how poor they were, how they put their babies to sleep in dresser drawers.

The men tell me about having spied the most beautiful creature they had ever seen, about being scared and yet being hopeful. Some who never doubted for a moment that she would love them back, and some who doubted so much they rubbed their eyes every morning wondering if she was for real.
In hospice work they like to give you helpful handouts designed to comfort those in the grieving process with some useful “facts.” One such fact is that when you lose your wife or husband you tend to idolize and idealize them. A woman in her 90’s with the language of a sailor, told me that was a bunch of hooey. “I worshipped the ground he walked on while he was alive,” she said. “It’s only now, for the first time in my life I’m angry with him because he left me.” Painful stuff, but bittersweet, too. We have a great capacity to love.

That search term got to me because I know how important it is for many men to provide, to have a sense of self-worth that comes from their work. I see the toll a bad economy and limited opportunities take on men. Yes, women suffer too, but there is just something so innate to men that makes their work important to them. It goes farther than simple provision, it becomes a part of their identity, how they define themselves, their sense of self-worth and value. Pride, the good kind, often comes from having work you enjoy and being employed.

Times are changing and in spite of all the hype, the economy is not doing so well. Businesses are collapsing, people are being laid off. It is tough out there and there is collateral damage strewn about all over the place. We in the current age do not have the same economic opportunities all my widows and widowers had. It is far more challenging for us even earn a living let alone to rise up from poverty and create what our parents or grandparents did.

We are not our wealth or our work. We are not even our ability to produce and provide, we are so much more and we are all greatly loved. These are hard times that call for many of us to become rich in spirit, to store our treasures up in heaven. Traditionally men have often gotten their identity, their value, through their ability to provide and to provide as lavishly as possible. That is The World however, the materialistic way we learn to define ourselves. That is not who and what we are, that is not what God sees in us.

Now here’s something that men could actually learn from women, “work” is not always about money, work is about what we do and who we are and how we love.

It’s a serious issue, lots of suicides out there, financial stress breaking up families, young men feeling lost and unsure what their role is supposed to be. Be gentle with yourselves and oddly, look to your mothers and grand mothers. They are the one’s that understood that “work” is not always about money and that being “poor” does not have to mean being poor in spirit.

So, there’s no love for a poor man, yes, yes there is. All those great romantic stories I am so blessed to hear, all those long and happy marriages, began with a poor man who was greatly loved.


Scream the Truth

So, addiction, meth and heroin, is something that weighs heavy on my heart where I live. It’s everywhere, it’s just so much more up close and personal in a small town. I have a sister and a nephew who are both in a permanent meth induced psychosis and will never recover.

There is a great deal of denial within the community, we call these people “mentally ill” as if they just suffer from some kind of organic brain chemistry problem and self medicate. It isn’t really true, but few people want to actually name the problem. We say the “mental health community,” because it sounds so much better and it’s a way of avoiding the problem entirely.

We have a needle exchange program here and recently the paper reported that we handed out 14,000 needles last year. In a town this size that is a staggering number, but rather than declaring we have a serious problem, this program is praised and promoted as a great success, a solution to what ails us. There is additional funding that is now going towards overdose kits we plan to pass out, in the hopes of preventing some deaths. I’m not opposed to either of these things, just endlessly frustrated that we deal with the symptoms of a problem and never actually get to the root cause.

It is absolutely devastating for a mother’s heart to watch kids I have known since they were infants and watch them change over night. They are babies, they have no idea what they are involved in, what a thief and destroyer that is. Often I think those of us on the outside looking in suffer more than they do. They can’t see their own misery as clearly, they are anesthetized. Those of us who love them are forced to feel all the feelings, to bear witness to all the destruction. Addicts are often very self absorbed, narcissistic, so it doesn’t occur to them how many other people they are hurting in the process.

It’s not all kids either, it is adults too, parents who pretty much emotionally abandon their children with their addiction issues. Those kids often become the adults, the caretakers, losing their own childhoods and carrying a burden much too big for them.

It’s not all “poor people” either, or “tweakers” or “those kinds of people.”  There are many well off, well connected people, who get caught up in addiction themselves, who sell, who entice, who keep the cycle going. It is just an entangled mess of misery, that ripples out and impacts every area of our community.

Here’s a blog that speaks more to the issue, Heroin. Stop the Silence. Speak the Truth.